Wednesday, April 19, 2017

By the Gods!

Mark Antony (Raymond Burr) and Cleopatra (Rhonda Fleming) enjoy a feast / entertainment in SERPENT OF THE NILE (1953)

A low budget epic directed by William Castle and released by Columbia Pictures. Burr is a sorta interesting casting choice for Mark Antony but Rhonda, who made a couple of other PEPLUM films, is totally miscast as Cleopatra. She just doesn't get the role. It's a fun film to watch but it doesn't have much to do with the real Cleopatra. Just a Hollywood's idea of the legendary Egyptian Queen. Castle would fare much better with SLAVES OF BABYLON (1953).


Scott Ochiltree said...

I agree this movie is distinctly mediocre.

However, the dance by a gold painted Julie Newmar (uncredited) is brilliant. In my view this is one of the best dance sequences in all of Peplum cinema.

It is also surprisingly erotic, with slave girls being symbolically goaded by whip wielding female overseers.

This sequence is available on YouTube.

hsc said...

Actually, Newmar is credited in SERPENT OF THE NILE as "The Gilded Girl" under her real name, Julie Newmeyer. She was also in SLAVES OF BABYLON under that name, this time as "Dancer-Assassin".

She didn't start getting billed as "Newmar" until 1957. But under any name, she's definitely the best thing about both movies!

Scott Ochiltree said...

Thanks for this most interesting information about Julie!